Canning Fish
Salmon, Blue, Mackerel, Trout

with Sharon Peterson

Canning Fish, Including Salmon, Blue, Mackerel, Trout

Ever wanted to try canning fish? 

I don't really care for most fish.  But Salmon?!?   Oh we love salmon! Last time we were in Oregon we visited with a friend who supplied a Salmon dinner. Real fresh non farm raised salmon. We also have a friend from Minnesota who brings us fish when he visits. He is an avid ice fisher. I forget what kind he brings... mmmmm but it is good!

Gotta love those friends!

Canning Fish Procedures

A big thank you to Susan, one of my readers who graciously offered to take pictures of her canning fish sessions for this page. 

I found these tested instructions from the NCFHFP here.

First step.... 

Fish must be prepared in 1/2 pints or pints.

You will need to know how to use a pressure canner. This pressure canning page has more detailed information and step by step instructions.


Gather your canning supplies


canning salt


First clean your fish, you'll need to remove the head, tail, all fins, and scales. Wash well and split fish lengthwise.   Cut fish into jar length pieces.

Cleaning fish.
Fish for cleaning.
Cutting fish.

Soak your fish in a salty brine for 1 hour. 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water.

While fish is soaking gather all materials needed. Start your water heating in your canner. See pressure canning for more detailed instructions.

Drain fish for 10 minutes. You want to be sure it is well drained.

Fish draining.

Pack fish into hot jars,(pints or half pints) skin sides out next to the glass. Leave a 1 inch head space. Do not add liquid.

Fish in jars.

Place lids and process according to pressure canning instructions. 

Process Process pints or half pints 1 hour 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure

Don't forget to adjust for your altitude. Use the chart below. 

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15
Canned fish.
Canned fish.
Canned fish.

Question from my inbox:

I fell asleep while canning salmon in open water kettle and the water level was two inches below the top of the jars 4 hrs later. They sealed but are they safe to eat? or can I freeze the batch in the jars? this was 4 days ago. I have tried county extension and they don't have any one in that department. 

Lois - WA

When you are canning any kind of meat including fish you really need to pressure can it. I can't give any recommendations regarding water bath canning salmon. I am sure that an extension office will tell you the same thing.

You probably would be safe freezing right away. I'd freeze in freezer bags. However, since your fish has been out for 4 days, I don't believe it would be safe at this point.

In the future, you might try another extension maybe in a nearby town. That is what I do. I like to work with the lady at an extension office that is actually in the next town over. Here is a site with listings by state and county. Extension Service Listings 


Source - Canning Fish

Canning Meat
Venison Ground
Venison-hot pack
Venison -raw pack
Homemade Chicken Broth
Homemade Chicken Soup
Smoked Fish

› Canning Fish

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Learn Home Canning

I've been teaching home canning for a long time.  I'd love to share what I've learned with you.  

Simply Canning School is what you need to start filling jars.

The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

See my Full Disclaimer here.

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